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Hamlet has a relationship to words.

In Act II, scene II in which Polonius asks Hamlet what he's reading and Hamlet responds "Words, words, words." Polonius asks him what the words are about, and Hamlet just basically insults Polonius and acts crazy. In the line described, Hamlet shows his disconnection to communication, and instead focuses on his love of words. Hamlet has big issues with communicating things to other people.

If you go back to the parts of the play in which Hamlet organizes the players, Hamlet chooses a play using very flowery, ornate language. No one watching the play likes it, except Hamlet. They all think it's too much. Hamlet must love the words because there are certainly easier, more relatable ways to tell a play.

Hamlet quotes from memory part of a speech, about the Greeks, in order to demonstrate to the player which play he's referring to. Hamlet seems to hold the play and the players in very high regard. Really, the Greek stories themselves are an old style. Polonius says afterwards, "This is too long," about the speech made by the player.

The play itself really is where the language starts to show its verbosity. If you look at Act III, scene II, you'll see the player King say, "Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round, Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground…" etc. Essentially, all the player is saying is "thirty days ago..." but the play is evoking this high style, with Phoebus and Neptune, the gods. Hamlet asks how Gertrude likes the play and she says, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." You can see that in the way of the player Queen being too wordy, in addition to the most obvious parallel between Gertrude and the player queen. It's not really an example of Hamlet's wordiness, per se, but it's his love of words.

Hamlet thinks about afterlife and suicide. He's in love with ideas, even if he can't relate to them yet, such as death. In the beginning of Act III, he goes on and on about death, yet he doesn't understand anything about it until the graveyard scene.

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This page contains a single entry by published on October 20, 2005 4:14 PM.

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